Doing course correction, state implements scheduled load-shedding plan for industries, but owners of 30,000 small-scale have little faith in the plan

The industrial units have been incurring a daily loss of more than Rs 30 crore for the past three weeks, courtesy "poor management skills" of the energy department in handling power crisis aggravated by the ongoing Telangana stir in Andhra Pradesh.

Since industries are miffed with the state Energy Department's alleged inability to control the imminent power crisis, the government has now come up with load shedding plans

As the statehood protest drags on in the neighbouring state, a bulk supplier of coal to Karnataka thermal power units, residents and industries are left to grope in the dark here.

Work suffers
Around 50,000 small-scale industries in the state are fully dependent on the power supply from BESCOMs.

"Whatever steps the government is taking now are too little and too late. Due to long power cuts, the small scale industries have been losing money to the tune of over Rs 30 crores daily," said Prakash N Raikar, President, Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association.

The industries are miffed with the state Energy Department's alleged inability to read the imminent crisis.
"As it is Karnataka is a power starved state and has been facing this problem for years now.

But the Telangana stir has worsened the crisis. The Energy Department should have made some alternative arrangements as they knew that any unrest in AP may curtail coal supply to its power generating units.
Instead of doing that they are trying to manage power deficit through load shedding," added Raikar. Even the large-scale industries have been affected by frequent power cuts.

"The last three weeks have been bad for the process industries. These units require uninterrupted power supply.

The industries have noted around 15 per cent losses since the Telangana movement started," said J R Bangera, President, Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Changing schedules
Following the petition from the industrial units, the government now has come out with a scheduled load shedding plan. At first, it would be implemented in the industrial areas.

"We have opted for staggered holidays, whereby one industrial estate will not work one day in a week on rotational basis," said P Manivannan, Managing Director, BESCOM.

The industries had proposed the same solution last year, but the energy department seems to have woken up to the reality now. "We had suggested a scheduled load shedding plan last year only, but they have adopted it now.

Only time will tell whether the Energy Department will be able to keep its promise of delivering uninterrupted
power to the units," said Prakash N Raikar, President, KASSIA.